Quinoa and Kale Salad with Strawberries and Garlic-Honey Dressing

The last time I went to the grocery store, I bought some kale.  I knew about as much about kale as I did about quinoa… so, nothing; except the blurbs here and there about how healthy it is.

Here’s a quick run down: (if you want all the info, check this out)

  • Kale can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed.
  • Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate.
  • Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system.
  • …Kale’s flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in way that gives kale a leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

Nice, right?  An anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, cholesterol-lowering powerhouse!  It’s going to become a staple in my house; what about yours?

Our next contender: Strawberries (for more info, check here)

Now, strawberries, by themselves, are not considered a “super food”, but they are in the berry category, which are considered super foods.  So it counts.  And it’s yummy! I would give you a quick run down, like the kale, but there is A LOT of info, so it’s going to be a super-quick rundown!

  • Cardiovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular diseases
  • Improved regulation of blood sugar, with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Prevention of certain cancer types including breast, cervical, colon, and esophageal cancer.
  • Good for your heart, your blood sugar and another cancer-preventer! Yeah!

Contender 3: Flax seeds (for more info, go here)

Flax seeds tend to be overlooked when it comes to adding nutrition.  Seriously, there doesn’t seem to be much out there regarding adding flax seed to everyday dishes.  Here’s a small list:

  • Sprinkle ground flax seeds onto your hot or cold cereal
  • Add flax seeds to your muffin, cookie or bread recipes
  • To pump up the nutritional volume of your breakfast shake, add ground flax seeds
  • To give cooked vegetables a nuttier flavor, sprinkle some ground flax seeds on top of them
  • Add a tablespoon of flax seed oil to smoothies

Here’s what flax seeds can do for you:

  • Among all 129 World’s Healthiest Foods, flax seeds comes out number one as a source of omega-3s
  • They have lignans are fiber-like compounds, but in addition to their fiber-like benefits, they also provide antioxidant protection due to their structure as polyphenols.
  • They contain “mucilage” refers to water-soluble, gel-forming fiber that can provide special support to the intestinal tract. For example, gums can help prevent the too rapid emptying of the stomach contents into the small intestine, thereby improving absorption of certain nutrients in the small intestine.

What does all that blah-blah-blah mean for you?  Better cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol, increases antioxidant/anti-inflammatory protection (which helps with things like insulin-resistance) and, again… CANCER PREVENTION!

With that out of the way, I can bust out the recipe.

Wait… Did I say there were 4 super foods?  I did!

Our final contender: Quinoa. I would type it all out for you again, but just follow this link.  You’ll find what you need to know!

Now, for your culinary pleasure:

Quinoa and Kale Salad with Golden Flax seeds, Strawberries and Garlic-Honey Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and uncooked
  • 1/2 a bunch kale
  • 1/4 cup almonds, slivered
  • 1/4 cup golden flax seed (mine was milled)
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen(thawed) strawberries, sliced
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

(all ingredients are adjustable according to your needs – I fed 2 adults and 3 children, with little leftover)

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions on package.  Mine says 2 cups water/1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, then remove from heat to finish steaming (like rice); when done, fluff with fork
  2. Rip off kale leaves from stem, throw in a plastic zip bag; add a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder (optional).  Shake until coated.  Put in a steamer basket or if you don’t have one, like me, a fine sieve over a pot of boiling water with lid.  Do not cook too long, maybe 5 minutes after water starts to boil.
  3. Toss slivered almonds in a small skillet to toast them up.  Move them often, so they don’t burn.  Burning almonds is not fun… or pleasant smelling.
  4. If you haven’t done so already, slice your strawberries!
  5. Mix together honey, garlic, salt and pepper; add olive oil and stir again; add lemon juice and combine completely.
  6. Combine everything into the pot you have the quinoa in.  Serve!

Even my pickiest eaters enjoyed this (thanks, mostly, to the strawberries) and it has been requested again!  Makes this Mommy proud.

Update: I was contacted by someone over at The World’s Healthiest Foods, the website I used to get my information and referenced above.  There is a new version called Health Ambition and I’m excited to share it with you + 3 more yummy kale recipes.  Check it out here!

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